MLB announced June 30 it had upheld the five-game suspension for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, declining to reduce the punishment after hearing Machado's appeal June 25.
Following MLB's ruling, Machado is set to serve the suspension immediately. He'll sit out the Orioles' next five games -- scheduled from June 30 through July 4, barring any postponements -- and will be eligible to return July 5 in Boston.
Machado received the five-game suspension June 10 after his bat-throwing incident against the Athletics June 8. The Orioles pleaded their case on appeal in hopes that they could get the suspension reduced or erased, but were unsuccessful. MLB perhaps looked to the precedent of Boston's Trot Nixon, who was suspended four games for throwing a bat at a pitcher in 2002.
Machado will be forced to sit out just as he was beginning to heat up offensively. Machado collected at least one hit during 13 of his last 17 games, and homered during three of his last four. Machado has batted .260/.313/.462/.774 with five home runs in June after hitting .220/.271/.284/.556 with two homers in May.
The Orioles could choose to make a roster move to provide them with additional infield depth during Machado's absence. The Birds recently transferred infielder Jemile Weeks from Triple-A Norfolk to Low-A Aberdeen so he could travel to Baltimore on short notice. The Orioles can't replace Machado's spot on the active roster during his suspension, so they would have to remove another player -- perhaps a relief pitcher -- to make roster room for Weeks.